Danny Salazar was looking to give the Cleveland Indians a fourth straight complete game as he took the mound at O.co Coliseum against the Oakland Athletics to close out the month of July. The only thing that prevented Salazar from a complete game, pitch count.
Salazar would throw 111 pitches in eight innings as the Indians beat the Athletics for a second straight night 2-1 the final. The Indians have now won three straight games after losing the previous six..
Salazar followed up the outstanding performance by Carlos Carrasco in the series opener with one of his best outings of the season. Carrasco gave up just one run on two hits Thursday night, Salazar beat that by allowing just a run on one hit Friday night.
The only hit Salazar allowed came in the third inning, a single to right field by Eric Sogard. Oakland’s only run of the game came two pitches later when Mark Canha would score on an error by Giovanny Urshela to allow Marcus Semien to reach base. Canha drew a walk off Salazar to open up the inning, the only free pass Salazar allowed.
For the night, Salazar would go eight innings allowing an unearned run on one hit with a walk. Salazar only struck out four, but Oakland hitters were not making solid contact from the fourth inning on. Salazar would finish his outing by retiring the final 18 Athletics he faced.
The score remained 1-0 Oakland until the seventh inning. Urshela would reach base on a throwing error by Semien to allow Yan Gomes to score and tie the game up at one. The error would end the night for Oakland starter Kendall Graveman, who like Salazar allowed only one run on the night and it was unearned. Graveman went six and two thirds innings allowing five hits, two walks and six strike outs but would not factor in the decision.
Another former Indian would take the loss for Oakland on this night, Edward Mujica. The right handed reliever would give up the game winning rbi ground rule double to Michael Bourn in the top of the ninth inning to give the Indians a 2-1 lead as Lonnie Chisenhall would score from second. Chisenhall, who made his first start in right field on Friday night singled to start the inning and then stole second base. Chisenhall, who played some games in the outfield while down at Triple-A Columbus, had three hits in the game.
When the Indians took the lead in the ninth, manager Terry Francona had a decision to make, send Salazar out to pitch the ninth or bring closer Cody Allen in for the save. Francona chose the latter because Salazar had thrown 111 pitches and also kept himself loose by throwing pitches in the bullpen during a couple of long innings when the Indians were batting. Allen made Francona’s decision pay off by retiring the Athletics one, two, three in the ninth to pick up his 21st save of the season. Indians pitching combined to retire the final 21 Oakland hitters in a row. Salazar improves his record to 9-6.
Before Friday’s trade deadline the Indians sent reliever Mark Rzepczynski to the San Diego Padres for minor league outfielder Abraham Almonte who will report to Triple-A Columbus. The Indians also activated pitcher Josh Tomlin from the 60-day disabled list and sent him to Columbus for rehab work. Jerry Sands was called up from Columbus to take the roster spot vacated by the trade of Rzepczynski.